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Managing stress this midterm season

EN Photo by Sam Palmisano // Managing stress this midterm season

By Karina Cashman
Staff Writer

While it is important to focus and do well on your exams, you may find yourself struggling with staying on top of your workload and managing your stress come midterm season. With that in mind, I’ve curated a collection of methods anyone can use to keep grades up and stress levels down.
First things first, get some study apps! Let’s be honest, everyone always has their phone on them and there are endless app options to choose from.
Whether you study using flash cards, Quizlet, or just an app that helps you plan out your study time, apps can be a big help when it comes to preparing for upcoming exams.
You can use them anywhere and they usually save your work. That said, if you need a little more than what an electronic app can give you, feel free to head over to the Center of Academic Achievement for some added assistance. It’s located in the Library, at west side Room 103, and are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact them at 239-590-7906 or by emailing [email protected].
Another idea is to make your own study guide. Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll get to use it, but it’s a pretty good way to remind yourself of what sections will be on the test, and you can customize the material you’re struggling with and use it until you sit down to take the test.
A third option? Don’t cram. Please. I’m no stranger to the occasional fit of procrastination, but seriously, you’re better off if you study a little bit a night. You can even take breaks between but cramming all your studying in the night before has been scientifically proven not to work.
In the words of Tom Haverford himself, “Treat yo’ self.” Really. All work and no play is not going to incentivize you to do anything. You studied for thirty minutes, cool; get yourself a snack. Finally understanding a concept, you really didn’t get before? Nice job; you can check your social media accounts. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, but positive reinforcement and operant conditioning has been shown to have positive effects, even if you may be the one rewarding yourself.
Another route you can take in order to help you understand the material is to watch a YouTube Video. It can be crash course on the topic, or some weird song someone made that just happens to be specifically about what you need to study. Whatever works for you! I guarantee that there is something you’ll find on that site that can help you with upcoming exams.
In terms of making sure you’re on top of your game for midterms, get some sleep. This one’s pretty obvious, I know, but you’d be surprised how many people just… don’t. I’m not saying you have to go to bed at 7 o’clock or anything, but maybe lay down before two in the morning rolls around.  
If I can recommend one last thing, have some fun in your life. Watch a show you really like, hang out with friends, eat ice cream and watch a movie. When the studying for the day is done, it’s a good idea to unwind and do something you enjoy in order to keep your emotional health balanced. Midterms can definitely bring about some unwanted stress, but staying on top of your work and keeping up a good balance between academia and fun is really important.
I reached out to a couple of students to find out exactly what they do to alleviate stress. Madeline Bernstein, a freshman, said “I listen to music or watch Netflix.”
Another freshman, Kayleigh Heister, said, “I listen to podcasts, clean, write out my week and take a hot shower.”
The fact of the matter is that stress can be managed in a multitude of different ways. It all comes down to experimenting and finding out which method works for you.
In all fairness it’s important to know if and when your stress is turning into something more serious. If you find yourself significantly lacking appetite or sleep, or even feeling moodier all the time, then it may be possible your stress is influencing you more severely than is usual.
You may consider heading over to CAPS to talk about it. According to the CAPS website, you can visit CAPS any weekday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the second floor of Howard Hall. Make sure to bring your student ID, and if you feel you need immediate assistance, contact the CAPS emergency hotline at 239-745-EARS (3277).
With that said, good luck during midterms!

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